Music

Music Reviews
1:25 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set

Ella Fitzgerald sings with bandleader Chick Webb in Asbury Park, N.J., in 1938.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:44 am

Drummer Chick Webb's 1930s orchestra terrorized competitors in band battles and sent dancers into orbit at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. They could be similarly explosive on record, but only rarely. Early on, they did have some hot Edgar Sampson arrangements that Benny Goodman would soon turn into hits, like "Blue Lou" and "Don't Be That Way." But the Webb band also had an old-school crooner, Charles Linton, with pre-jazz-age enunciation.

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The Thistle & Shamrock
12:47 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

The Thistle And Shamrock: Harpers

Grainne Hambly.
Courtesy of the artist

Hear some of today's most innovative and inspirational Celtic music in recordings of its most ancient instrument. William Jackson, Wendy Stewart, Maire Brennan, Grainne Hambly, Savourna Stevenson and Alan Stivell all feature in an hour dedicated to small harps.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Songs Considered
12:46 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Viking's Choice: This Song Is Literally For Throwing Stuff Out The Window

Be careful near that window, Have a Nice Life.
Courtesy of the artist

For those drawn to doom and gloom, the most affecting music sometimes takes a while to reveal itself. In 2008, the happily named duo Have a Nice Life released Deathconsciousness, a messy yet fascinating double-album fixated on the darker side of life and endowed with a gauzy, shoegaze-drenched underbelly. As time went on, I'd continue to see Deathconsciousness pop up in RSS and Twitter feeds from those just discovering an album too weird and too bleak for its time — or any time, for that matter. I should know; I was one of them a few years ago.

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Favorite Sessions
12:02 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

KCRW Presents: Of Montreal

Of Montreal performs live at KCRW on Nov. 11, 2013.
Gregg Lewis KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:58 pm

Of Montreal was founded by singer Kevin Barnes back in 1996; ever since, the Athens, Ga., group has continued to explore new creative possibilities, as true artists do. The band recently returned to Morning Becomes Eclectic to showcase songs from its new album, including "Fugitive Air."

Watch the entire session with Of Montreal at KCRW.com.

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Best Music Of 2013
7:03 am
Wed December 11, 2013

NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs Of 2013

A still from Machel Montano's video for "The Fog."
Courtesy of Precision Productions

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 1:14 pm

What do you have to do, as a song, to win our hearts? You have to sink in. You have to stop someone dead in her tracks. You need to cause that man to act a fool. Scrunch a nose, tense a shoulder, drop an ass.

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